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‘Get off social media’; Gov. Cooper urges vaccinations, pushes for masks in schools and touts monoclonal antibody treatment

The governor says COVID-19 vaccines are continuing to do their job by stopping most of the severe illness and death and they remain the “best tool to end this pandemic”.
Published: Sep. 9, 2021 at 2:51 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 9, 2021 at 6:08 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Governor Roy Cooper spoke on North Carolina’s response to COVID-19 Thursday afternoon.

The governor said COVID-19 vaccines are continuing to do their job by stopping most of the severe illness and death and they remain the “best tool to end this pandemic”.

Vaccines are free and available across North Carolina regardless of health insurance status.

“If you’re unsure about getting one, get off social media and get on the phone with your doctor. That’s the best place for accurate medical information,” Gov. Cooper said.

Gov. Cooper says while vaccines are the best protection from COVID-19, effective treatment is also available for people who get infected.

Those who test positive and have mild to moderate symptoms, the governor encourages residents to talk with their doctor about the treatment of monoclonal antibodies.

“Monoclonal antibodies are shown to be effective at preventing hospitalization once you have COVID. It’s critical to get tested as the treatment must be administered within 10 days from the start of symptoms. Your doctor will make the decision on whether the treatment is right,” Gov. Cooper said.

Last week, Gov. Cooper signed an executive order to make it easier to get monoclonal antibody treatment by increasing the number of places you can get it around the state. North Carolina is also working with FEMA to set up several sites where this treatment will be administered.

“We hope that by preventing COVID-positive patients from developing more severe illness, we can save lives and take some of the strain off our hospitals,” Gov. Cooper said.

Gov. Cooper says he is encouraged to see many North Carolina businesses requiring vaccines for employees and customers.

“This protects them from getting sick, protects our economy by keeping stores open and encouraging customers to come while preventing COVID’s harmful impacts. I encourage more businesses to step up and do this. The more places you need a vaccine, the more vaccinations we will have. The more people who get their shots, the more we are protecting our children in schools, especially those who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated,” Gov. Cooper said.

The governor recognized that since school has resumed within the first weeks back, there have been more COVID-19 cases among students, which have led to some quarantines.

“This has been and will continue to be especially true when schools don’t have strong mask requirements in place,” Gov. Cooper said.

Currently, the governor says there are 109 school districts in North Carolina covering more than 96 percent of children with mandatory masks requirements.

“In order to keep our children in the classroom in person, I urge school districts to keep mask requirements and other important safety measures in place as we continue battling the pandemic,” Goiv. Cooper said.

North Carolina health officials reported 6,290 new COVID-19 cases Thursday. To date, there have been 1,273,633 confirmed cases since the first case was reported in North Carolina on March 3, 2020.

Officials also reported 3,815 people are hospitalized due to the virus. The total number of people who have died of complications with the virus is now 15,004 in North Carolina.

Officials also say 16,393,214 tests have been given in N.C. and the daily percent of positive tests reported was 11.3 percent.

Health officials say more than 94 percent of recent North Carolina COVID-19 cases are in people who were not fully vaccinated. On Aug. 10, state health leaders reported that more than 20,000 North Carolinians tested positive for COVID-19 in the last week.

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